So I logged into dA again for the first time in forever (read: 2 years) and I just have to say that I've been totally neglecting this. First thing I see: 242 messages. When did they add mentioning deviations? I have over a hundred mentions of various SM64 coins and my classic trademark Jiggy. But it's about that which I'm going to be rambling about right now. Probably no one cares, and even less people will read this, but I feel like I have to say something about it for myself. So what follows can be described as my "life story." I wrote this journal entry for myself, and I don't expect anyone to fully understand or benefit from this, but bear with me, what little audience I have.
I. The Beginning.
I made this in 2008. At that time, it was the summer between 7th and 8th grade. I was heavily involved in Nintendo Papercraft (and you should totally check them out, shout-out) that summer, as I had discovered papercrafting for the first time. It was kind of a chance encounter, really. I was really into Kirby, and I was browsing a fansite by the name of Kirby's Rainbow Resort (it was an old site, not sure if it's active anymore), because I really liked watching Hoshi no Kaabii, the Kirby anime, and a fansubbing group there was translating them. Anyway, on the Hoshi no Kaabii section of that site, I saw a Kirby Origami book, and was amazed. I was also into origami since 5th grade, when my elementary art teacher let me have an origami book since I expressed interest in it. Well, once I found out that a Kirby origami book existed, I trawled through Google Image Search for every single keyword combination I could think of. Those searches never turned up the Kirby origami book, but what I found was something uniquely different and would change my life. Among the various "origami" and "Kirby" results, there was something new, something different: a papercraft.
The Gotorion Kirby was my very first papercraft that I built-- the old, blocky one. Not the slightly less old, rounded one. (The build is on the top left, the blocky one on the left side.) But from there, I had discovered a basic difference between origami and papercraft. Where origami did not cut, papercraft glued. And it stuck to me for the better part of two years. It was not very long before I found Nintendo Papercraft from that original trail. And on Sunday, July 13, 2008, I signed up for their forums. The exact date is ingrained in my memory. It was, in essence, my birthday.
I say that July 13, 2008 was my birthday because that was the day that I realized my online self. The Nintendo Papercraft forum was my first "life" on the internet where I actually interacted with other people for extended periods. I made friends, became a regular, the sort of things that define one's identity. And from that point on, I became a puzzle piece.
I have to take a quick detour here and mention that when I was 6 years old in real life, I played Banjo-Kazooie, and it has been one of my favorite games since. It became a part of my childhood, and
thus, when I was creating my online persona, it likewise became part of my identity. The Jiggy became my symbol, and then I became the Jiggy.
Another detour: I came up with the name mastermind777 when I was 6 years old as well, and created my second email. When I was 4, I asked my family to let me make a Hotmail (because that was
all the rage back then), and it was something forgettable. When I chose a new name as a 6 year old, I obviously had no way of knowing that many people would use "mastermind" or "777". In fact, my
username is not as unique as you'd think, and it was taken on GameFAQs, Photobucket, YouTube, Blogger, Skype, and many other services long before I even discovered them. Regardless, it was the
name that I stuck with until very recently. But there's more...
I had a lot of fun, and I grew and developed on Nintendo Papercraft. I started by making requests for crafts that no one had thought to make but would be simple, nice crafts, and I still lacked the knowledge to make these crafts myself. My first successful request was Eyerok from Super Mario 64, and I was ecstatic when Schlenkster decided to rip it and design it. After building many crafts and taking pictures of them (I've probably built half of all the old crafts on the blog, the ones that never had pictures), as well as testbuilding various crafts, I decided to have a go at making my own crafts. The very first craft I designed was Solid Snake In A Box from Super Smash Bros. Brawl. That was such a simple craft, and designed in the most ingenious way. I actually went to the trophy on my TV and took pictures with a mid-quality digital camera, then stitched them together in Microsoft Word 2003 and added lines for the tabs. It wasn't a real design, but it was simple enough to work. And that was the thrill: this was a craft that I had designed by myself. Just imagine what I could design if I actually knew how to 3D model, I told myself.
My progression there soon picked up. After a failed Whacka that I made in GIMP manually, I learned how to rip from emulators with Lemmy's Plugin. I started with the Washing Machine transformation from Banjo-Kazooie/Tooie, but I didn't know how to use the 3D model yet. I ended up taking the textures and connecting them, then making the googly eyes and pipe manually. I made it for a Banjo Kazooie contest on the NP forum, and a few people actually voted for it, despite other models being much superior (I'm looking at you, Navi93's Banjo Playing Gameboy) and generally winning. From there, I began to rip many Super Mario 64 models, then Mario Party, and through those, I learned how to use Pepakura to unfold models. There weren't any major problems for me to tackle until the face of Mario (MP1), and the Manta and Sushi were probably a bit rough, but for the most part, I gained the requisite experience to use Blender and Lemmy's Plugin through those models. Eventually, by the time of the second contest (Pokemon), I decided to make Mew from Pokemon Stadium. This was the first real model I had to work on, and I made a "standard" 15cm version as well as a 40cm "lifesize". (There was a 25cm, but that was just for those who wanted a happy medium.) This Mew had trouble with the eyes, and I had to map the textures onto the head, as well as clean up the leg joints and tail. I didn't do the best job, but I did that job. I had a little more practice on the Kirby (K64), but the intersections still foiled me. Either way, it was clear to me that growth would follow when I made more papercrafts and got more practice with modeling and with Blender, and that was what lead to making the PaperMario Papercrafts Project.
I was inspired by the hard work and dedication that Paperpokes put into their project, which was to create a good-quality model of every single Pokemon in the Pokedex. The team behind that was way better than I am, and they were people that I looked up to because they were so much better than me. Where they designed Pokemon after Pokemon, I had to content myself with practice on largely scenery and items from Mario games. The people who said they were interested in joining PaperMario never really got much further than expressing interest -- it was mainly me doing the work, with LegoMyFoot helping with graphic design, mrmcgoo building some crafts, and a few other people contributing. But the real goal was for me to progress. What followed was a plethora of simple crafts: the cannon, Bill Blaster and Bullet Bill, Grindel and Spindel, the ! Cap Boxes, the Star Marker, even the volcano from Lethal Lava Land, and the Crystal Tap from Wet-Dry World. The first model that I actually put effort into as part of the project was the Flying Ship from Rainbow Ride. Some more fun came with the Sliding Bowser Puzzle, Fly Guy, and Crazy Crate. My next actual model was a Tumble diorama from Mario Party 3, necessary because of Tumble's flying hands and feet. I tried using straws as someone had done with a Rayman build, but it didn't work as well with this case. I took a short break with the Mario Party 1 Item Pack, and then made The InterNed from Super Paper Mario manually, just like the old days. I don't even know why I made the Sunshades from Super Mario Sunshine. It's not like anyone would ever wear them, and they were basically a cut-out. But after the Beta Key from Super Mario 64, I had the idea to rip from Paper Mario. It turns out, there are some 3D elements, like Merlon's House, which I modeled complete with spinning roof. I wanted to make the whale, but never got around to it. I did Sketchup a model of Count Bleck, which was fun. The last major model that I actually designed was Dorrie (and this was the first and only one I put up on deviantART). This was where I officially fully fixed an intersecting part in Blender. That mouth was completely screwed, and I successfully made it merge with the model. I'd say it's my best model, and my favorite besides perhaps Count Bleck and Mew. I was working on DynaBlade (Brawl trophy) and Glover, but my computer crashed around that time and those models were lost forever.
During my designing period, I was also building other people's crafts, but some time after the computer crash, I found myself with less time and effort to devote to papercrafting. 9th grade had since started, I was taking pre-IB classes, and I was making friends in real life. All of these things meant that I had less time to devote to papercrafting, and as a result, less time to devote to the NP community. I wasn't just papercrafting during 2008 and 2009. I was interacting. 2009 was one of the fondest years in my memory. Many things happened. Papercrafting and Android. (I got my first-ever cellphone, an HTC Magic a.k.a. T-Mobile myTouch 3G, and more specifically, I chose it over the iPhone 3GS.) But in the world of Nintendo Papercraft, 2009 was a wild year full of having fun with my online friends and fellow crafters. Great people that I loved dearly and many of whom are no longer active. Some I stayed in touch with after I "quit" crafting, others had already gone inactive months before I did. I could say this is the end of the story, but in fact it's just the beginning.
II. The Multiple Personalities
It was around that time that I became aware that what some may take as "me" had grown distinctly separate from what was actually "me." In a sense, there was a growing divide between what I did online and what I did in real life. At first, it was just that no one in real life shared my interests. But as time passed, I realized that it was more than that. At least, it felt like more. I felt like "mastermind777" had become a distinct entity in my brain. One that could converse with others, one that had its own interests and its own passions, some of which overlapped with mine, but a personality that was separate from myself. mastermind777 made a Twitter account on August 18, 2009 (another date that will always be recalled) after lurking for a while. From there, I made new online friends, ones centered around Android and technology rather than arts and crafts. I felt that, as a creative person, I was being more or less "replaced" by this "other" that had taken residence in my head.
2009 and 2010 were fun on Twitter. I followed Swagbucks first (totally whoring out this referral link here, but I really enjoyed the $150 in Amazon gift cards I got in 2 years of just using a search engine based on Google), then a bunch of Android people. The papercraft community quickly became replaced with the Android community, these "OG"s that were influential or well-connected in Android circles. I diversified when I followed friends of my new friends. One of my friends, who I will call Jacob, was friends with various trolls via this one app from the Cupcake days, aForum. The "main character" of this group, Michael, was also friends with many people in the Android community, but he also had the characteristic of drawing an inordinate amount of 15-year old girls on Twitter who thought he was attractive. (He was 24, for the record.) At that point in my "life", I was still largely unemotional, reserved, and formal. August 12, 2011 is another day I will remember, because I befriended one of these aforementioned teenage girls. Just weeks earlier, I had decided to split my real life and online life officially on Twitter. (I'd made two Google Accounts in 2009, a primary for mastermind777 and a family one under my real name.) But not long after I had made my 2nd Twitter, my life got much more chaotic.
2011 corresponds to my 11th grade. Anyone who took, takes, or will take the International Baccalaureate program can attest that 11th grade is the craziest time of high school, because that's the first REAL year of IB. The assignments all pile up, and most of the work is compressed in that first year. The second year is no cakewalk, but it's less compressed, though college applications make up for the lull in work. It was within this backdrop IRL that I started to earnestly use Twitter. In my first two years of Twitter, August 2009 to August 2011, I had made only 2,000 tweets. In the next two months, I made another 10,000. This led one of my IRL friends to conclude (erroneously) that I had fallen in love, but that's not really what happened. What really happened was that I opened up, and at the same time, the multiplicity of my identity became fully pronounced.
In 11th grade, I was working hard in real life, and mastermind777 was socializing on Twitter. I got teased a lot for having an "internet girlfriend", but I can honestly say that I didn't really talk to this person besides a few times -- this was an acquaintance of mastermind777. There was always that distinction. Even though she was/is one of the few people that knows my name in real life, I didn't really know her. That didn't stop the jokes or the teasing at school, but I can't fault anyone for not understanding what even I sometimes can't understand. The reason I mention this friendship is because I credit her with introducing me to my favorite music. Before I met her, I only listened to video game music, and rarely. Music wasn't enjoyable to me. I just didn't really like it. But then again, I had never heard anything I liked. She was into Circa Survive, and it was her favorite band of all time. It became my favorite band of all time. I'd say that my friend's musical tastes are the best of anyone I know, because she's always listening to something that I listen to on my own and discover I like a lot. Of my top 5, four are from her. More on this in the conclusion.
Around this time, my Twitter accounts grew in following, and then in number. @ mastermind777, my original, was entrenched in tech. My personal was for all my friends in real life. But beyond that, I had various accounts, some of which sprung up as jokes, others I'm not exactly sure why, or from whom. One throwaway, @ idiedlastwinter, came as an artifact of Michael, whose name @ idiedlastyear was taken when he switched it for some time, and thus he replaced it for a while with @ idiedlastsummer. The girl that I had become friends with continued the theme by renaming her account @ idiedlastfall, and thus winter and spring fell into place, but that was largely an in-joke among the three of us, as they changed their names within the next months. idiedlastwinter lives on as my Xbox / Microsoft gamertag, for when I had to set up a Games For Windows Live account to play Batman: Arkham City, which I got for free when I built my computer with an NVIDIA card, but that's another story. My 4th twitter was a parody of Justin Bieber, intentionally mis-spelled as Justin Beiber, off of an in-joke among my Math Team friends, due to my quickly growing hair resembling Bieber's early cut. (I let my hair grow for 11 months during 11th grade. That's a story for IRL only.) But 4 accounts wasn't "enough" to contain me, and I quickly reached 6, 7, 10 accounts. I had 12 accounts as of this summer (which I will explain later in this post), and I made my 13th Twitter account a few days ago. Not all of these have been used. Some of them have never tweeted. Some of them are private with no followers. Some of them are just squatting on usernames in case I ever figure out what to do with my online life. (Not many, just 1 or 2.) Of the remaining accounts, I have a test account where I figure out how Twitter works, an account that tweets quotes from one of my IB teachers a la ShitMyDadSays, a private account for mastermind777's closest 20 friends for when Twitter drama went down in 2012, a never-used nature account (@ efyeahnature) that would have posted pictures of natural wonders, a "rant" account that represents my inner psyche, a new username that was an attempt at unifying my online and IRL lives again, but has since become just another personality, and a professional Twitter for my IRL self. The point of this paragraph is that I have a lot of Twitter accounts and I don't know what to do because I don't know what I'm doing. But this is where I think about it. The point of this section is that I (admittedly self-diagnosedly) "figured out" that I have multiple personalities in my head. Not all of them are defined beyond mastermind777, but I hear them talk occasionally. Read on for the conclusion.
III. What Now?
I chose the name mastermind777 when I was 6 years old, and it, along with the Jiggy, have become my identity, as I have stated, but now the question was, what will happen to mastermind777? As I was developing in real life, I was slowly growing back into my brain and filling the space that mastermind777 had previously occupied. It felt like for 4 or 5 years, I had been using mastermind777 as a mental crutch. I had a conversation with him, and he confirmed that he felt the same way -- that one day, he would disappear.
I'm not sure whether that day has come yet, but mastermind777 has largely faded away. He doesn't surface as much as he used to. It's getting close to his 6th birthday. Occasionally, on Twitter, I'll feel the presence, but for the most part, it's not the same. I'm not a puzzle piece anymore, just a puzzle piece impersonator. The puzzle feels like it's almost solved. mastermind777 is the last piece and is hanging on, but I'm not sure what will come of that.
A long time ago, I wanted to choose a username that would stick with me. I never thought that my username would stick with me in such a way.
The hardest part in all of this is figuring out what to do next. Where to go from here. It's near impossible to properly "unify" all my accounts under a single username. That's the problem with online usernames -- on one service, your name will be taken, and you need a fallback that you can accept. For me, the issue has since transformed from unifying my accounts/usernames to unifying my life. I'll still remain pseudonymous on the Internet, largely -- there's a continuation of an ideal here, and mastermind777 already has a following. I wouldn't want to just abandon that, especially because those friendships are still valuable even though they weren't "mine", and to some extent I lived vicariously through mastermind777. This isn't about that, though. This is about how I'll deal with all of that.
It seems like I will just have to embrace my many usernames, even as I consolidate the personalities behind each. It's like I'm hoarding usernames, because I can't decide on just ONE good one. They're all good. But that's what I feel like I've learned -- they're all good because they're all parts of me that I can't deny. I've shaped my identity based on the things I love, whether it's Banjo-Kazooie or Boktai or Circa Survive. These are all part of who I am, and how I identify.
For this reason, I guess I'll just have to make the best out of this multiple account situation. mastermind777 as a "brand" for my voice on technological affairs. Another "brand" for my professional activities, based on my real identity. A "personal" set of usernames for my close friends, and for those things I maybe don't want to broadcast to every single person who doesn't know me, or is looking at me in a professional light. I need a place to be informal and relax, and that's where it'll be. I'm not sure how "unified" I'll ever get, but triggerofsol will be my username whenever there's an overlap between people who know me and people who don't. (thetriggerofsol if taken.) I'm not quite ready to "come out" about my IRL identity, but that feels like it'll come soon, and it would be at the precise moment that mastermind777 disappears forever.
The difficulty here? What to do with all the dead accounts. What to do with the multiple accounts. Twitter is a service where it's easy to have multiples, so I don't foresee changes there. I don't really use Facebook. Google Accounts will continue to be split until I can migrate things into a stable balance between the three that I use. Currently, one is for syncing with Android, one is personal and one is mastermind777. I bought all my apps as mastermind777, and that won't be able to migrate due to licenses. With my 3 Tumblr accounts, I'm not sure how to deal. I don't fully understand Tumblr, but I don't think I can follow different people as different blogs. Only my primary blog can follow others. Perhaps this will happen after I reveal my IRL self more, since that account has the most actively used blogs. Migrating from mastermind777 there will have its difficulties in knowing who to follow. Migrating from thetriggerofsol will be easy if I just delete it and add it to my personal account. YouTube is confusing, but I might just stick with mastermind777 there. I don't blog on Blogger anymore, so I've given up there. But that's what I have to conclude with.
It's that on some things, I have to give up.
And deviantART is probably one of those things.
So, that's why I chose to write this monstrosity of a selfish post on here instead of any other platform. It's because no one will read it, and no one will care, but this is where it "started", and this is where it will end. I may rehost or link to this on other places as appropriate, but it will be immortalized here first.
Unless I suddenly become more active on deviantART or more prolific with artistic expression and production, then I don't really have as much use for deviantART. And even if I do, it'll probably be under a different name. I was always the more artistic and creative of the two, despite my logical tendencies. It's because mastermind777 personified that logicality in his cool, golden aura. Puzzle pieces don't have to be creative. They just have to fit somewhere. To find where they match. And in this case, the match is within me. There are a few pieces missing, but not for long. I'll pick them up and finish this puzzle.
If you want an epilogue, it's that I've started college. I'm currently majoring in biomedical engineering and computer science, being a freshman this year. Class of 2017. Life goes on, I'm busy, and there isn't time to maintain multiple people in my head. The only thing I can really say about any part of this post is that my deviantART is at best inactive and at worst redundant or out of place. If I start over, dA is probably part of it. While reading through the 242 notifications at the top of dA, I noticed a journal entry from Gipi2009 about his leaving dA behind due to his friends being inactive since long ago. I found much the same thing. So this is probably goodbye. Again, I've left my usernames and examples of my work in various links scattered through this post, and you can always mention me on Twitter @ mastermind777 if you want to get in touch with me. I'll see it there, and make the proper connections. Eventually, there might be changes, and if there are, I'll update this journal. But this is probably the last activity that you'll see here.